Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Those Photos

I was half thinking of writing a post about the 'scandal', but why rephrase what Ren says here. She has nailed it so far as I am concerned. With just the proviso, that I would not want my daughter posing, but I am oldish and out of touch with young people. Many are so terribly clever and worldly compared to myself and others my age when I was a teen. I guess it would not be for all to pose naked, just as it wouldn't be for adults.

The way the hysteria has grown, well, the over reaction could possibly damage anyone.

Now, what am I going to do about the photos I have on the pc of Little Jo in the bath? Suppose there must an age cut off. Someone explain to me what is right and wrong please?

It could only be o/s readers who don't know what I am talking about. Here is a link but for all the info, search for Bill Henson. There could well be a photo of his in a gallery near you.


  1. Thanks for the linkage, Andrew. You make me think I should edit all my swearing. :) Though if my hypothetical 12 year-old daughter was asked or wanted to pose for such a photographer in a similar style, I would be all for it. Naturally I would supervise at all times not so much out of fear that something perverse might happen but more in the case of if my daughter were to start showing the slightest bit of hesitation or discomfort, I'd end it then and there, cause really, 90% of girls are extremely aware of their own bodies even at that young age. It's just common sense.

    It's unfortunate that Henson's work may be illegal on a technicality but I think the whole situation is the proverbial mountain from molehill thing.

  2. I'm from overseas Andrew and even I know what you're talking about. (Mainly because everybody else on the Oz-blog circuit is discussing the same.)

    Not having seen the photographs myself I couldn't possibly comment. However, I'm still reeling from the Kermit the Frog - Miss Piggy Hardcore Milf shoot last summer that controversially found itself banned from the Tate Modern.

    What's green and smells of pork? A bacon sandwich that's been left too long.

  3. I'm a bit surprised to see there are still standards.


  4. Here, from RH.
    Commenting at audreyapple.blogspot.com/

    Anyone can have an opinion about art. That's what it's for.

    But what's not art? Were human-skin lampshades art?

    No: peeled from corpses at Belsen.

    But they were attractive?

    Yes -to some.

    How can I enjoy art -or a joke, if it needs explaining? Most people shown a single line down a canvas wouldn't have a clue what it means. I'm one of them.

    Those who waffle on about 'no limits' to artistic expression are often not much good at it themselves, but they sure know what a good perv is. Poseurs for years have been going to DISTURBING films like Blue Lagoon, which gives a fine excuse to get titillated then rush home for a root.

    I agree with penni: "If you have to be qualified to talk about art, then I don't really see what the point of art is."

    The problem is with quacks who take it on themselves to tell everyone else what art is. Reading them gives us a headache. Without metaphor they'd be shipwrecked.

    It's just common sense, you like someone's effort or you don't, you're in tune with them or your not, and what you hang on the walls of your place is your own business. It just happens that I wouldn't hang photos of naked children, okay?

    Art, it ain't.

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

    audrey is good looking. -And clever too.

    A terrifying combination. Too much for me.

  5. Anonymous11:13 am

    Here we go again with the Religious Right foisting their conservative veiws upon us all. Quick get out the plaster cast fig leaves and cover up all those naked statues etc in all of this land. Just in case we may titillate some pervert.

  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Ren without swearing....nah, doesn't work for me.

    Brian, Aus has a proud history of ridiculous censorship.

    Agree with you about art Robert. Accessibility.

    Yes Anon. I bet the zealots in this case are of a religious bent.

    I just connected the two Robert.

  8. Anonymous6:23 pm

    I think this just gives the conservative knockers free rein. Who cares? If the model in person was so uptight about it - she could sue.
    It could be child abuse. But then again, seeing Bindi Irwin exploited like that...well...double standards leap to my mind.

  9. If these had been paintings, would this have caused the same uproar? Perhaps if the subjects had been naked and posing. But what if anyone was to paint something like this? Would it carry the same weight? And what if the photographer was a woman? Would the uproar be as loud?

    I'd like to think I could assume the answer to both of these questions would be yes, but the realist in me would probably disagree.

  10. Yep Reuben, there is an awful lot more bad things than that happen to kids, even in the so called first world.

    The realist you is completely right of course Rob. It would be perceived as totally different.

  11. Who are these religious zealots? Are they religious at all, or just people who disagree with you?
    Is Hetty Johnson religious? I don't know, I'd never heard of her; but maybe you can tell me. I'm mainly interested in whether anyone at all should tell other people to shut up because they're not educated enough to know good art from rubbish. I don't accept you need a degree to have an opinion about it, that's all.

  12. My Uncle is an artist. At age 12 he asked me to pose for him to paint me in a portrait, nude. I declined. I look back and think I wish I had said yes. Why? Because he is wonderful at painting, and I should not have been embarrased. He painted my Aunt and my cousin, his daughter, both nude, and cuddling each other....it still looks wonderful today on their wall...not sick at all.
    I wonder, if photos, as clear as they are today, are even more invasive than that of an oil on canvas of the same person? Not sure, but I think if the person being pictured or painted consents, and feels comfortable, then it should be ok.
    Such a fine line between what is art and what is not some times..in the eye of the beholder?

  13. I painted the woman next door in the nude once. Unfortunately she called the police and they made me put my clothes back on.

  14. Hetty has been around for a while. I believe her org does some good stuff in helping abused kids, but I would still put money on her having strong religious convictions. You can tell by her hair and make up.

    Btw, if I find a comment really offensive, I will look after it.

    You were in my mind when I wrote that Cazzie, as you are my only reader that I know of who has young children. I worry a bit that later, the person may regret it, but if it is a good painting, they will probably proud of it and like to look back at how they looked.

    Struggling for a witty retort Brian. It will come to me.

  15. Retort? Don't bother, it's a very old joke.

    We're putting on a barrel for you in St Albans on Saturday. But seems you won't be attending. How disappointing. Yes, well I guess the proceeds will have to be used elsewhere. ha ha ha. Happens all the time.

    I can tell you something, if I say I will not put comments here while you're away you can be certain of it. And I am saying precisely that. So there. That's my word, my pledge.

    Would you care to see what it's worth?

  16. Robbert,

    I prefer to think of it as extremely well tested rather than old.

  17. Good ol' Aussie philistinism is alive and well. And Rudd sounds like one of those knee-jerk laura norder-types that they keep electing as NSW Premier. Pandering to the talkback peanut gallery.

  18. A barrel Robert? What have you heard about me?

    Lad, I reckon Rudd regrets being so quick off the mark with such a definitive statement. Love the name Laura Norder ha, ha.

  19. G'day! I just wanted to quickly say that I love your blog, and have given a link to you on mine. Keep up the great work!

    Sydney, Australia

  20. I'm not sure you know what putting on a barrel means (it's nothing indecent). It's to raise money for some roughnut, often when he's coming out of clink or going in, or maybe done his balls at the races.
    And so the mates buy a barrel: a niner; nine gallons of beer. They set it up in a backyard charging everyone admission and then for each glass. All profits go to the poor bum needing a handout.
    The trouble with 'barrels' is they usually end in a blue. Another problem is everyone wants to be barman. Then you find some bugger pissing in your fish pond. But really you can't beat it. And it is after all a gala charity event.

  21. I've just realised I'm living in the past.

  22. I think putting on a barrel is still done Robert. I am disappointed that you think I would not know about barrels. In my experience, in means a glass full of froth or flat beer. No one can ever get the gas right, although many claim to know how and have a go. But after the first few frothys, no one cares anymore. Fortunately the effects of the barrel minimises the physical damage in the subsequent fighting and while the desire to get 'the end in' is still there, the performance is poor, saving many chicks from an unplanned pregnancy.

  23. Thanks Bodhi. I have just had a quick look at your blog and I like what I see. I may get some time to have a better look before I depart for foreign shores.

  24. I've just been reading about Hetty. She reminds of what I heard about Nixon; he didn't just want to defeat an opponent, he set out to destroy them.
    Hetty is passionate, they say: once she latches onto an issue it becomes her life. She led the axe attack on Hollingsworth, which probably means she ain't awfully religious; but she sure is feminist, mad dog style.
    There's always contradictiction in these people, they're never sure what they believe, Hetty gave up her child for adoption at birth -then lied about it, and has the gall now to be an advocate for child welfare.
    But it's her 'passion' that worries me: her willingness to destroy lives.
    Someone like Hetty can make you feel sorry for the person she's hounding

  25. Hetty Johnson has sharpened her axe for Hensen, and will chop him up.
    So this is not a case of religious zealotry, or right wing zealotry, it is a case of feminist zealotry, many of whom have deep problems of their own: psychopathology.

  26. Anonymous1:37 pm

    Thanks for the daily reads Andrew. Enjoy your trip to teh Old Dart. Have a pint of lager and a chip buttie for me will ya.

  27. Dear Andrew Dix,
    I bought a cigarette lighter today. The girl asked me what colour I wanted, I said anything would do. She gave me a pink one.

    Does she think I'm gay?

    -Concerned, of Newport.

  28. I'd love to take credit for Laura Norder's genesis but she comes to us from www.crikey.com.au

    Check out a great post on this issue by Edward Yates over at http://www.thewellsoffancy.com/ and a no-nonsense op-ed riposte from former NGV board member Harold Mitchell in this morning's Australian.

  29. Goodness me. I've had a marvellous say here. You're as liberal as Miss Copperwitch. Or Miss Brownie (but who does swing the axe at times).
    I'm wishing you a wonderful journey, contrary to the hardships of poor RH, and which is my own fault -or virtue, whatever you like.
    Give a salute to St Mary's in the Strand. I signed the book there, asking them to pray for me.
    I think they did.

    Bon Voyage!

  30. Hi Andrew, just wanted to wish you and R a happy holiday. Hope you's both have a great time and come back feeling nice n refreshed (although I doubt that will happen)

  31. I am an artist, a regular nude life drawing enthusiast, and a broad minded mother of three daughters. I find I am a bit troubled by the photos and the furor about them.

    I watched the documentary on Bill Henson the other night. It was made a couple of years ago, and I really enjoyed it. His work is dark and powerful, and I can see what he is striving for. Some photos shown were very confronting.

    He is not a porn peddler or pedophile. Someone who buys one of his works could well be. I would not like my naked daughter hanging somewhere on some sickos bedroom wall.

    A painting done in private loses that personal photographic identity. It gains a life of it's own that detaches it from the human connection.

    I would not be involved in drawing naked young people, as I am just not comfortable with it.

    Bill Henson has photgraphed many adolescents in torn singlets and the like, and it is hugely effective. I would prefer he stays away from them naked.

  32. Thank you Anon.
    Ah yes Lad, it does look like a Crikey phrase.

    Brighten you image Robert and you may get a black lighter. Thanks for the good wishes.

    Ta Jo. I expect you are right about not being refreshed.

    It is such a divisive issue Bliss. Personally, I don't think I have ever seen so many shades of grey.

  33. Bliss is welcome to paint me naked. At my age in most of my regions I am many shades of grey.

    What's that old saying? "Paint softly but carry a broad brush."

  34. Very kind of you to offer Lord Sedge. Grey is fine, as that's the colour I do best as well.

    My (greyish) older man-around-the-house has offered to pose, but I think when it came time to drop his daks, his courage would collapse.

    He wanders around the house before my fellow artists and model turn up, muttering about building a periscope to peer over the deck at studio rear.